Building the capacity for early childhood parenting programmes

History

We developed the Reach Up Early Childhood Parenting Programme and accompanying training package to provide an effective, adaptable programme, feasible for low resource settings. Our aim is to facilitate building the capacity needed to implement these programmes.

The Reach Up Early Childhood Parenting Programme is based on the Jamaica Home Visit (JHV) intervention designed by Sally Grantham-McGregor. The intervention has been successfully adapted and evaluated in Bangladesh and Colombia with benefits to children's development, and was adapted and implemented at a large scale by the Peruvian government.

Milestones

Evidence to impact over 30 years - our journey!

Timeline Milestone Listing

1975

Item Country: 
Jamaica
Participants: 
Children living in suburban communities of Kingston
Intervention: 
1 hour play sessions at home for 8 months
Results: 
Significant Benefits to DQ**

1980

Item Country: 
Jamaica
Participants: 
Severely malnourished children
Intervention: 
1 hour daily play session in hospital. Home visits 1 hour per week for 2 years then 1 hour biweekly for 1 year
Results: 
Significant Benefits to DQ

1989

Item Country: 
Jamaica
Participants: 
Children from the inner city
Intervention: 
Home visits 1 hour per month for 2 years or 1 hour biweekly for two years
Results: 
Biweekly group had benefits to DQ. Monthly group had no significant benefits.

2003

Item Country: 
Jamaica
Participants: 
Low birth weight children
Intervention: 
Home visits 1 hour per week for 8 weeks after birth
Results: 
Intervened group had better problem solving scores at 7 months

2004

Item Country: 
Jamaica
Participants: 
Low birth weight children
Intervention: 
Home visits 30 minutes per week for 17 months
Results: 
At 24 months intervened children had higher scores in Performance and Hand and Eye Sub-Scales.

2004

Item Country: 
Jamaica
Participants: 
Undernourished children
Intervention: 
Home visits for 30 minutes per week for 12 months.
Results: 
The intervened children had higher DQs.

2006

Item Country: 
Bangladesh
Participants: 
Undernourished children
Intervention: 
Group meetings for 1 hour per week for 10 months and 1 hour every 2 weeks for 2 months and home visits weekly for 12 months.
Results: 
There was a benefit to children’s Bayley Scales Mental Development Index (MDI)

2009

Item Country: 
Bangladesh
Participants: 
Severely malnourished children
Intervention: 
Group meetings for 30 mins and individual session for 2 weeks in hospital. Home visits or clinic visits for 6 months
Results: 
Children in the intervened group had significant benefits on mental score and motor score.

2012

Item Country: 
Bangladesh
Participants: 
Severely malnourished children, randomized to 4 groups (stimulation only, supplementation only, stimulation and supplementation and control).
Intervention: 
Play sessions for 1 hour in clinic biweekly for 6 months
Results: 
Stimulation alone or with supplementation improved Bayley Scales MDI.

2013

Item Country: 
Bangladesh
Participants: 
Children with iron-deficiency anaemia
Intervention: 
Weekly home visits for 9 months
Results: 
Non-anemic intervened group improved more than the non-anemic controls in MDI. The IDA intervened children did not improve significantly.

2014

Item Country: 
Colombia
Participants: 
Children from low socio-economic environments, randomized to 4 groups (stimulation only, supplementation only, stimulation and supplementation and control).
Intervention: 
Home visits 1 hour per week for 18 months
Results: 
Intervened children’s cognition and language showed improvements
**Developmental Quotient. For further details on the intervention studies see paper by Smith et al. 2016.

Core Principles

The intervention is guided by core principles and was developed so that it could be delivered by para-professionals with a minimum of completed primary education. These principles include:

1

Works through caregivers by building a positive relationship to support them in strengthening skills to promote child development.

4

Uses an interactive approach of demonstration and modelling and practice of activities to build skills.

2

Uses a structured curriculum of developmentally appropriate activities.

5

Home visitors are trained to listen to the caregivers, seek their opinions and ask about things they already do with their child and to acknowledge these and give encouragement and praise.

3

Aims to build caregivers' skills, self-esteem and enjoyment in helping her child play and learn.

6

Emphasises praise for caregiver and child.

Policy Brief

The Reach Up Early Childhood Parenting Programme has been designed to provide the materials and training needed to implement effective parenting interventions. It is based on the proven Jamaica Home Visit Programme and was designed by a team that has successfully implemented the approach in several countries. This programme is unique due to its extensive evidence base.

Reach Up has been formulated with the benefit of over 30 years' worth of research on effective early childhood intervention programmes. It provides agencies with a comprehensive set of materials to support parents in providing a more stimulating environment for their children, improving quality interaction and facilitating learning.

There was an increasing desire internationally, to scale up programmes to reach the many families in need.

We recognised the need for a more comprehensive training package that would make it easier to train trainers, and for these trainers to be able to train home visitors.

Prof. Susan Walker